About the Exibition

For the first time, contemporary art is presented on the premises of the historical wax models in the Josephinum. Together with the Shariat Collections, the Josephinum is showing a selection of works by the French-Senegalese artist Alexandre Diop. Art-historical references, human anatomy and an independent artistic strategy enter into a dialogue with objects from the 18th century.

Since it was founded in 1785, the Josephinum has housed the collection of anatomical wax models that Joseph II had commissioned in Florence for the founding of the Military Surgical Academy. On the one hand, the collection served as illustrative material for teaching, on the other hand, it was already accessible to the public at that time. As didactically valuable teaching aids, the wax preparations are supplemented with colored drawings and descriptions in Italian and German. Most of the wax models have been preserved and are presented in seven rooms in the original showcases in their historical setting.

The up-and-coming contemporary artist Alexandre Diop lives in Vienna and studies painting at the Academy of Fine Arts with Daniel Richter. Diop's works move between painting, sculpture and relief. In his work, he combines a wide variety of materials. Latex, textiles, wood, books, paper, photos, string, nails and animal fibers combine to form "object images". His works have recently been exhibited at Kunsthalle Krems, Reiffers Art Foundation in Paris with Kehinde Wiley and at the Rubell Museum in Miami.
"Sometimes our feelings hide inside our body," says the artist about the objects in the exhibition in the Josephinum.

The Shariat Collections, founded by art collector Amir Shariat, focus on contemporary African art. The focus is on lesser-known artists to support their talent and make it visible. This also includes young artist Alexandre Diop, who occupies a central position in the Shariat Collection.

Detail | Josephinum